Sunday Holiday (2017) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


There is the final scene that for me is the very best thing about ‘Sunday Holiday’, where the tales cross over to skilfully amalgamate into one. And it is this point that leaves you rueful, and wish that the romance that had preceded it had the bite that could have smartened it up into an evenly exhilarating cinematic experience.


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Structurally, Jis Joy’s ‘Sunday Holiday’ follows a story-within-a-story pattern, and has a speaker venturing out to narrate a tale in all earnestness. The tale that he tells and the tale that he himself is a part of, are apparently as dissimilar to each other, as they possibly could be; at least on early impression.

Unni Mukundan (Sreenivasan) is a college lecturer who has always dreamt of scripting a film, and when he learns that David (Lal Jose), a legendary director has been hospitalized in the neighbourhood, following a minor health hiccup, he rushes in to find out if the film maker would lend an ear to a story, as he recuperates on the hospital bed.

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David offers the approval to hear the tale,  and Unni gets going by bringing in his central character into the picture – Amal (Asif Ali), who has just realized that all is not fair in war and love. Crestfallen in the face of a conked out love affair, he moves to the city with a marketing job at hand, wherein he runs into Anu (Aparna Balamurali), who helps him rebuild his life.

Of the two stories in ‘Sunday Holiday’, the narration scores much higher than the narrated, and banking on just a few characters as the director, the aspiring script writer and the doctor-in-charge (Asha Sarath) at the hospital, it moves progressively ahead, with not many predicaments or hitches in sight.

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However, the tale that lies embedded within, has strains of an obviousness running all over it, and inadvertently tells us much about it than probably what we need to know. Its sporadically amusing and hops on along the proverbial romance trails, with initial hostility and antagonism between a couple giving way to friendship and love.

There is also a parallel sub-track that portrays the lives of the Amal’s roommates –played by Siddique and Dharmajan Bolgatti – that runs totally berserk. And not just that, at a point it seems like the film itself has been crammed in with one character after the other, each trying to jostle out the one standing next to him, for a bit of relevant screen space.

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So there is the irritable man next door (Sudheer Karamana), his pregnant wife, his mother who makes tea time snacks for a living, and their past that further rakes up a few more characters. Signs that promise a few revelations abound, but ultimately, these tracks sputter out without as much as a whimper.

Anu herself reminds you of the several Anthikkad heroines that you had met before; the sole struggler who has a back tale to tell you that has the whiff of resistance and perseverance blowing in from all corners; the valiant girl who refuses to give in to the pressure that keeps on mounting is one who is as familiar to you as the back of your palm.

Also appalling is the casualness with which the film lets off its loose ends; a man who burgles a few crores of rupees roams around like someone who has just positively turned over a fresh leaf in his life. There is another man who attempts nothing short of murder, who merely runs off into the middle of the night and just disappears. No questions asked and no explanations offered.

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Aparna Balamurali is the true scene stealer in ‘Sunday Holiday’, and at the cost of letting herself be typecast in roles that require her to welcome a man who has not been formerly fortunate  in love, she gives it her best shot, and comes up trumps. Asif Ali does a respectable job as well, though Amal does get eventually overshadowed by Anu, and the lead pair is ably supported by the likes of Sreenivasan, Lal Jose and Asha Sarath.

There is the final scene that for me is the very best thing about ‘Sunday Holiday’, where the tales cross over to skilfully amalgamate into one. And it is this point that leaves you rueful, and wish that the romance that had preceded it had the bite that could have smartened it up into an evenly exhilarating cinematic experience.


Verdict: Average


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